Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics

Taking It to the Top

Left with no choice, Rakosky decided to take it to the top and appeal the appeals court ruling to the Louisiana State Supreme Court. In announcing the decision, he said the actions of the appeals court would factor very heavily in the case they would make before the state's highest judicial body.

"We will be filing with the Supreme Court within the allotted time to reverse the Court of Appeals decision and reinstate the ruling of Judge Sassone," Rakosky announced. A week later, support came from an influential quarter. The Baton Rouge Chapter of the NAACP entered the fray, saying that Corey's civil rights were being violated by the appeals court's refusal to re-hear the case, and they sued the state of Louisiana on his behalf.

By this time, Corey announced that he was no longer using the name C-Murder. To soften his bad-boy image and influence future courts and juries, he said he would be using the name C-Miller. "People hear the name C-Murder and they don't realize that the name simply means that I have seen many murders in my native Calliope projects neighborhood," the rapper stated. "From the beginning, I have been a target because of who I am, my stage name and for my success as an entertainer and the success of my siblings," he said in prepared statement issued through the Koch record label.

Over the next several months Corey's attorneys prepared their appeal to the State Supreme Court, based in an imposing white marble building on Royal Street in New Orleans' historic French Quarter. However, on August 29, Hurricane Katrina hit the city with powerful winds and flooding from breached levee floodwalls. Even though the solid structure housing the Supreme Court was largely spared, as was most of the French Quarter, the judicial system of southern Louisiana came to a virtual standstill, along with nearly every other state agency and private business. Power remained out in the city for weeks. Along with approximately 1,100 other inmates in the Jefferson Parish jail, Corey was transferred to other state facilities farther inland that were not impacted by the storm.

Finally, on February 21, 2006, with service restored to most state and city agencies, Corey's lawyers filed their appeal with the State Supreme Court. Rakosky was now joined by noted criminal defense attorney, Robert Glass, who had a history of getting celebrity clients off the hook, including California feminist Ginny Foat on a murder charge in Jefferson Parish in 1983.

Corey was not present when Rakosky and Glass filed their brief during a hearing, but nearly a dozen relatives and supporters were there for him. Arguing a persuasive case, Glass told the state's high court justices that prosecutors had "no physical evidence, no conclusive evidence" that Corey shot Thomas. He called one of the prosecution witnesses "a through and through liar... and the jury didn't know that."

Glass also reiterated positions that had been brought up in earlier rulings; that prosecutors hadn't fully shared information about witnesses' criminal backgrounds with the defense. Jefferson Parish Assistant District Attorney Juliet Clark countered that her office had shared what it knew at the time with defense lawyers.

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